Vacheron Constantin x The MET unveil ‘Masterpiece on your Wrist’ bespoke commission program Vacheron Constantin x The MET unveil ‘Masterpiece on your Wrist’ bespoke commission program

Vacheron Constantin x The MET unveil ‘Masterpiece on your Wrist’ bespoke commission program

Zach Blass
  • Vacheron Constantin and the Met have unveiled the first project in their ongoing partnership – an extension of the “Masterpiece on Your Wrist” program launched in 2019.
  • This will allow clients to commission timepieces that incorporate artwork from the museum’s incredible catalogue.
  • As each watch will be a bespoke piece unique, pricing for each commission is on request with a Vacheron Constantin boutique consultant.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art New York (Exterior) ∏Courtesy of The Met
Image courtesy of the Met

Here at Time+Tide, I’ve been able to travel to a wide range of countries and destinations. So, I consider myself very lucky to have had adventures in Japan, Dubai, and, of course, Geneva. But, still, I could not help but be extremely envious of Andrew on his Parisian adventure with Vacheron Constantin at the famed Louvre back in 2022. A private event that meant Vacheron Constantin and their guests had the entire museum to themselves for an evening, members of the press, such as Andrew, were able to take in all of the artworks without any of the traffic and congestion you would normally find during regular visiting hours. And, at this event, Vacheron Constantin revealed a series of limited edition watches that were a tribute to four great ancient civilizations: Persia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome.

Before this event, Vacheron Constantin and Christie’s had auctioned off the chance to wander around the Louvre, choosing any single exhibit to be reproduced within a bespoke Vacheron Constantin — except for the Mona Lisa. This was, at least then, a one-off opportunity. Last year, in partnership with the Louvre, Vacheron Constantin brought their “Masterpiece on Your Wrist” program to the museum which would allow clients to choose artworks within the Louvre to be reproduced in enamel on the dial of a bespoke wristwatch. Now, in 2024, this program has been brought to New York City and the famed Metropolitan Museum of Art. This is the first program to be launched within their partnership with the Met which was first announced in 2023.

Vacheron Constantin The Metropolitan Museum of Art 14

Vacheron Constantin explains: “As a part of the “Masterpiece on Your Wrist” experience, the commissioning client will have the opportunity to experience a private tour of the Met in the company of its experts and curators, to guide selection of their Masterwork, as well as a visit to Vacheron Constantin’s manufacture in Geneva to meet the master watchmakers and artisans who will undertake the project. The culmination of this process will result in a piece unique watch, accompanied by a certificate of authenticity from both the museum and Vacheron Constantin, reflecting the taste and interests of its commissioner and offering a daily view of a masterpiece.”

Vacheron Constantiin Meteropolitan Museum of Art body

To illustrate the potential possibilities of this bespoke commission program, Vacheron Constantin has built renders of four timepieces each utilising famed artworks such as the paintings Bridge over a Pond of Water Lilies by Claude Monet, Wheat Field with Cypresses by Vincent van Gogh, and Northeaster by Winslow Homer, or sculptures such as Diana by Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Two techniques are used to create these masterpiece dials, with miniature enamel painting used to recreate paintings or grisaille enamelling to create the illusion of sculpture. These techniques are all executed within Vacheron Constantin’s Métiers d’Art facility.

Vacheron Constantin The Metropolitan Museum of Art watch bespoke comission

Beyond the dial, Vacheron Constantin has revealed that those participating in the program will have three in-house calibres to choose from for their bespoke commission: the manually-wound, 2755 TMR with minute repeater, power reserve, tourbillon, hours, minutes, and small seconds (on tourbillon); the manually-wound 1731 with minute repeater, hours, and minutes; and the automatic 2460 SC with hours, minutes, and central seconds. All three calibres are Geneva Hallmark-certified, and the automatic 2460 SC movement features a 22k pink gold winding rotor with a special engraving of the Met’s façade. The pricing for these commissions is upon request and will be determined after a client consults with a Vacheron Constantin boutique consultant.

Vacheron Constantin The Metropolitan Museum of Art 6

While this is something I will likely never be able to afford, as someone who grew up just a short stroll away from the Met and continues to routinely visit and take in the breathtaking artworks, such a timepiece would be an absolute dream to own. The program is truly a testament to the mastery and skill of Vacheron Constantin’s artisans, that they can so perfectly miniaturise and encapsulate such famed and intricate works of art into their creations. This partnership with the Met vastly expands the artwork on the table to be commissioned into a watch. It’s a genius idea and anyone lucky enough to be able to secure such a commission will literally have a work of art on the wrist – so cool!

The Met Fifth Ave Carroll and Milton Petrie European Sculpture ∏Brett Beyer Courtesy of The Met
Image courtesy of the Met

This is just the beginning for the Vacheron Constantin x the Met partnership program, which will soon also include an artist-in-residency program and other educational initiatives which Vacheron Constantin states will be shared at a later date.